Tagged: Baking

Making Soft Pretzels at Home

CompletedPretzels Making those soft, buttery mall pretzels is really easy to do at home. It is a fun recipe for the kids to help make, and a great snack for them too! These can be great for movie night, or game day.






Making the dough

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 1 package (or 2¼ teaspoons) of yeast in 1½ cups of of warm water and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir in 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of bread flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Continue slowly adding 2 more cups of flour until the dough comes together. Kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in a bowl sprayed with nonstick spray, and then spray the top surface of the dough to prevent it from drying out. Cover and let rise for one hour.



Prepare your Factory/Cut the dough

Preheat an oven to 450º (230º C).

In a small baking dish, combine 2 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. This helps to give the outside that brownish, crunchy texture. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Note in the picture to the right, I have a little assembly line set up.

After the dough has risen, roll into a log, and cut into 12 pieces.


RolledOutRoll out the dough

Roll each section out into a three foot long rope. The pretzels will swell quite a bit when baking, so don’t worry too much about making them too thin.


PretzelShapeRoll each rope into that familiar pretzel shape. Push down on the ends a little to get them to adhere to the pretzel body. Dip into the baking soda water, and place on the parchment lined baking sheets.




Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. While cooking, melt the butter and prepare your surface for  adding the topping(s).




Top and Serve

Once they are done, brush with melted butter, and top with coarse (Kosher works) salt, or other desired toppings. We love cinnamon and sugar as a topping as well!






It makes one dozen pretzels.









1 package (or 2¼ teaspoons) of yeast

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1½ cups of warm water

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of bread flour

2 cups of warm water

2 tablespoons of baking soda

2 tablespoons of melted butter

2 tablespoons of kosher (or other course) salt








Cinnamon Swirl, Streusel Coffee Cake Using Mexican Crema to Bake With

This, to describe it in a highly technical sense, is “nummy.” Years ago, my wife did not realize that I did not always have other copies of recipes. So she would throw them out when she found them in the kitchen, as she figured I could just print them out again. Then I would say, “Where am I supposed to print out out from if I don’t remember where I got it?” So we have worked on this over the years, and she recently threw out another important recipe. Arg.

Anyhow, the first recipe thrown out was a cinnamon swirl coffee cake, with a streusel topping. I have tried over the year to recreate it, with no success. I recently found this recipe though, and it is pretty darn good. Of course, it is me, so I had to change the recipe from the original. None of the changes are noteworthy, except that I replaced the sour cream with Mexican Crema. Crema is smoother, creamier, and on average, much less tangy than sour cream. So it really appealed to me to use in baking, because these are textures and tastes in keeping with what I was hoping for in the cake.


Streusel Topping

  • 1¼ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt (1 ¼ teaspoons if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup Mexican crema
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 3¾ cups All Purpose Flour


Preheat oven at 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Combine all of the streusel ingredients except the butter, until well mixed together. Add butter, and stir once again,  and set aside.  I sometimes need to add a little more butter, this may be because of measuring flour by volume instead of weight.

Combine filling ingredients until well blended, and set aside.

Beat together the butter, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powdered, and vanilla until well-mixed and smooth.

Add each egg individually, and beat after each egg until well-mixed.

Mix together the Mexican crema and milk.

Alternately add flour (1 cup at a time)  and crema mixture (in approximately four equal portions) , beating to combine after each addition.

Pour half of the batter into the baking pan. Note that it is easy to add too much, which makes the top layer more difficult to add, so be careful. Spread out to the edges.

Sprinkle filling across the top of the base layer.

Add the remaining batter to form the top layer.

Gently swirl, using a butter knife, being careful not to completely combine the filling into the batter.

Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter.

Bake approximately 75-80 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I use a really thick baking pan, which may add to the cooking time. You should start checking it at 50 minutes. You can usually wiggle it a little and look to the center to see how close it is. If it is still a ways off, the center will jiggle when you wiggle.

Remove the cake to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Best served warm, right from the pan.

Oooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Sundae Cookies

These cookies are great for a family, or for some friends. The cookie is baked in a cake round or pie tin, and is crispy on the outside and edges, gooey in the center, and has ice cream on top. They are super easy, and super fun. You bake one big one for a group to share. Everyone can have their own spoon though.


  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla using a mixer.
  3. Add flour and baking soda, and stir by hand (well you know, using a spoon.)
  4. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Spread dough in a buttered pie tin or cake pan.
  6. Bake for 5-8 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 2 minutes.
  8. Put two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.
  9. Serve with a handful of spoons.

My kids go through one of these in nothing flat! Enjoy.